Dr. Phil Tranqui

Running, much like life, is bittersweet. When my alarm goes off at 5:00 am for a training run in 21 F weather, it’s a bitter struggle to roll out of bed. When we push ourselves to go further and faster, pain will undoubtedly be involved. So why tolerate this bitterness and continue to run?

Most of my 11 years of running has been done in Chambers County. I’ve enjoyed running the many neighborhoods of Lanett, the hilly country roads leading to Lafayette and the historic rails to trails path in Valley. These many miles have led me to connect with other runners of Chambers County. Together we’ve challenged ourselves to push our limits. At the annual Hike Bike Run to support Valley Haven school, we strive to run faster and break personal records. We tested our ankles scrambling over rocky trails to the top of Mount Cheaha, the highest point in Alabama. We supported each other through painful blisters, chafing and sleep deprivation to complete 100-mile races.

While these experiences may not seem enjoyable to most, we’ve been rewarded with beautiful views along scenic trails, met people from all walks of life and experienced the satisfying sweetness of accomplishing a difficult goal. New goals are often the topic of discussion Thursday nights when our running club meets. After a short run, we partake in trivia and local craft beer at Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse. So, while running may seem like such a lonely sport, over the years I’ve realized it has fostered in me a sense of community and brought very special people in my life. In fact, my wife accepted to marry me when I dropped to one knee at mile 20 of the New York Marathon (what a set up – how could she say no?!).

So, get out there. Lace up your shoes and go for a run. Sign up for a local 5k race. You may be surprised how the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other may add a little sweetness to your life.

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